Antwerp must have a pretty great nightlife, if the rock-club-inspired spring collection from Belgian duo An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, collectively known as A.F. Vandevorst, is any representation. They play great music (Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood's trippy duet "Some Velvet Morning" made the soundtrack); they have modest but effective light shows (here, a curtain of multicolored bulbs); and the crowd is always hip-looking.
It's not the first time that clubbing has worked its influence on the world of A.F. Vandevorst; the duo once memorably turned their runway into a vast mirror ball. This year, the inspiration was at its most obvious in the touches of silver or gold that sparkled amid their mostly monochromatic palette, and their disco-ready glittery boots and strappy wedge sandals. But Vandevorst and Arickx used it in a far subtler way, by drawing on the grunge/rave club cultures of the nineties. Out strode the models, in the usual zigzag formation, wearing zippered hoodies and leggings with ruffled dresses and trenches, or soft, slouchy shirts over tiered skirts with lace-trim petticoats peeking out beneath. All of this was an imaginative lesson in layering clothes in an interesting and effective way. This collection was also a reminder of how, season after season, Vandevorst and Arickx rework their signature pieces to make great fashion. Some of this show's strongest offerings came from the biker jackets and cardigans that fastened with leather saddle straps, and the presence, yet again, of those billowing, masculine trenches.